About a year ago, I joined a couple of co-workers on a journey to Scranton, Pa. The object was to find places to visit that cost a tank of gas or less from the Binghamton area. Or was it to play hooky for a day?

Recently, I decided it was time to get back to taking some day trips, especially since camping season is over, and there will be no more trips to the camp until next May.

Our destination was the Lackawanna Coal Mine Tour and Steamtown USA. I had so much fun, I decided to do it again. Kathy Whyte joined me on this trip, since she has never been, and was interested in learning about the history of coal mining and railroading in Northeastern Pennsylvania.

On both tours, I actually learned more than last year's visit. The coal tour really puts into perspective, how hard and dangerous it was to work in a coal mine. Kids as young as 12 (or even younger if the families lied about age) worked in certain capacities of the coal mine. While most coal extraction these days is strip mining, we we found out there still are coal mines in some parts of Pennsylvania.

Steamtown USA has lots to see. It has a cool Roundhouse and turntable, museums, and even offers train rides. You can take a short ride which stays downtown, or take one the the longer excursions (you pay a bit more.) There are a lot of trains to see and walk through along with everything to do with steam engine trains. It's a very interesting visit, no matter how much you are, or are not into trains.

Now, I need to visit elsewhere. Where should I go and see?  New York, Rochester, Buffalo, Albany, Syracuse, Philadelphia or maybe a small town?